MANILA, Philippines — Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. is hopping on a plane to New York for a presser set on Friday (Manila time), even without Guillermo Rigondeaux’s signature for the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing.
The Filipino WBO super bantamweight champion is set to slug it out against the Cuban WBA titlist in a unification bout on April 13 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, with the presser on Friday officially announcing the fight.
Donaire said on Twitter Thursday that he will “take my chances,” shortly after declaring — also on social media — that he is not going to the presser because Rigondeaux is “backing off his agreement to VADA drug testing.”
“Soooo, (Cameron) Dunkin told me that Rigo will sign the VADA contract before the press conference and if he doesn’t the presser won’t go forward,” said Donaire (@Filipinoflash).
“I’ll take the plane to New York and take my chances. Night people,” he added.
Even with the presser, organized by Promoter Top Rank and TV network HBO, already set up at the Big Apple — the fight between Donaire and Rigondeaux nearly went up in flames.
“I want you guys to hear it from me first. I am NOT going to NYC for the presser this Thursday bc [because] Rigo is backing off his agreement to VADA drug testing.
Rigo’s team verbally agreed to VADA testing both online and in negotiations. But now that the contract to start testing is in front of them, they are finding every excuse not to sign and delay the start of the testing,” said Donaire in a statement.
“I have not signed my fight contract yet to fight him so I have no obligation to fight only him. It disappoints me that top fighters these days run from everything that will hold professional boxing integrity to its highest standard,” he continued.
Rigondeaux, meanwhile, cleared that he “never refused to sign up for VADA testing,” in a statement made by his manager Gary Hyde, on a story by Ryan Maquiñana in Boxingscene.com.
The former Olympic champion’s camp also wanted the VADA agreement to be translated in Spanish since Rigondeaux “does not understand English,” and all the substances given to Donaire by his nutritionist Victor Conte sent to them.
“I have just received the VADA agreement in Spanish and Victor Conte has agreed to send us all substances he is giving Donaire. Rigo will now sign the VADA agreement and Donaire should sign the bout contract. Donaire should not put anymore misleading posts on Twitter. Let’s get it on. Rigo’s time to show the world who’s boss,” Hyde said.
Conte himself had been convicted of supplying performance-enhancing drugs to athletes, but sees no issue in sending them over, saying in another interview with Boxingscene.com, “it’s all available on my website.”